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Single-breasted or Double-breasted waistcoat...that is the question.

First to distinguish between the two:

“Single-breasted waistcoats have a single row of buttons down the front, and the waistcoat flaps only overlap enough to permit buttoning. A double-breasted waistcoat has two rows of buttons, and the front overlaps sufficiently to allow both flaps to be attached to the opposite row of buttons” 



 < VERSES >  Single V double

Pale Grey Single Breasted Waistcoat and a Stone Grey Double Breasted Waistcoat

When deciding which is best for you, often it is simply a matter of personal taste; which one do you personally prefer the look of? Generally the more popular style is the single-breasted, simply because it is considered more everyday wear and the less smart of the two. However, if you want to make a statement or stand out from the crowd, the double-breasted may be the one for you, as they are not commonly seen on your average day about town.

The most notable difference between the two is the way the waistcoat flaps overlap and are done up by the buttons. The double-breasted creates a slightly different V on the waistcoat, since one side sweeps lower than the other, instead of meeting in the middle like in the single-breasted. This creates a less symmetrical look, but many consider it to be a cleaner one, since there is less of a cluster of buttons.

Single v double

Buttons are important when achieving formal greatness.

There is slight controversy as to which style suits which build. The general idea is that the double-breasted is good for a tall and medium to large build, since the overlap can help cover the waistline and it appears slimming. However, anyone could really wear a double-breasted jacket, so long as they get it tailored to the waist, and slimmer men may benefit from it since it can help create a fuller appearance.

If you are planning on wearing a patterned waistcoat then go for single breasted. A double breasted waistcoat is already unusual enough in itself, and so should be worn in general in more plain tones and styles.

Single V double

A brief look at a formal Single Breasted Waistcoat

So, to conclude:

Wearing Single-Breasted:
Considered more everyday wear than double, but also appropriate for work and evenings, and popular for business meetings. Can be worn casually or smart. Can be worn on any build, but more popular for the slimmer builds. 

Wearing Double-Breasted:
Considered slightly more conservative/smart, and more commonly worn for smarter occasions such as weddings and funerals, and smart social events such as white tie, although, single breasted would also be suitable for all these. Can be worn on any build, but is slimming on the larger builds.

But there really are no rules, so at the end of the day it’s whatever style you prefer for yourself!

Thank you for joining Sir Plus on this Waistcoat Discovery!

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